The Homeowner Safety Checklist For This Spring
If you are anything like me, you are ready for warmer weather and have made a vow to take advantage of Spring and spend as much time outdoors as you can. Anything from the neighborhood park, relaxing in your backyard or hopefully, a vacation away from home can be included in your springtime plans. However, leaving your home safe is paramount while you’re away.
Fun fact: burglars mainly target homes whose owners are away on vacation.
Never to worry; although dealing with professional thieves is never easy, the majority of the robbers are usually amateurs. This makes it easier to thwart their efforts and plans to rob a home. There are several home automation systems and manual methods of ruining these burglars’ attempts at their own ‘Spring cleaning’ through the use of simple, yet secure precautions.
Here are a few tips on how I keep my home safe and free of worries so that I can take full advantage of the beautiful weather to come:
Install The SMART+ HOME®
You’ve got the power! You can have total control of your home from your smartphone or tablet wherever you are in the world. Seriously. Anywhere. Ever have that sinking feeling half way to your destination that you left the garage door open, or didn’t lock the front door behind you? You can check to see if anything was left open or unlocked right from your smartphone using SMART+ HOME. You can also monitor your security system; including real-time viewing of your wireless cameras, electrical appliances and thermostats. This not only save you stress, but also saves you money. Bingo!
Remember to Lock Your Doors!
This may seem redundant, but you would be surprised how often we overlook these tiny details. Especially as the weather becomes nicer, we tend to leave doors and windows freely open. Locks can help keep burglars at bay when you are away this Spring. Do a house sweep and ensure that all locks on windows and doors are not faulty and do fully lock.
Burglars are usually just opportunists who look for the slightest loophole to break into their target home. If they come across locked windows and doors, they are less likely to break in to avoid drawing the attention of those around or passing-by. As a result, the robbers will most likely walk away to search for another target. Keep homes locked even if you are leaving for just a few minutes to visit the local grocery store.
The tumblers and locks should be changed once in a while or if you lose the keys to your door. Burglars target spring-latch home security locks with loopholes to pick by slipping credit cards against the tongue of the latch as a way of depressing it for the door to open. Use of a deadbolt can prevent such attempts. The space between the door and its frame should not be enough to allow hacksaw and other power tools to go through as often used by intruders. This will also help keep the heat or air conditioning, depending on what day it is, inside and ultimately save you money!
Keep Door Keys Safe
“It’s under the mat!” A phrase too often used by over-trusting break-in victims. People like to keep their keys ‘hidden’ under almost anything ranging from mats to random rocks. Some burglars study their target homes before eventually breaking into them. They might observe a homeowner for a while to find out where they hide their keys when away. Keys should be left with people you know and trust; such as neighbors, relatives, friends or even the sweet cat lady from church.
When traveling away from home this Spring, you can use the services of security agents to keep your home security high. I know it seems a bit extensive. However, you just found out there has been a spree of break-ins this past month and you are about to go on vacation. You are not the only person worried! Although many local security companies offer such services, the local police department can provide it free of charge. All you have to do is give them a call or visit them in person to make a request for patrol of your home and neighborhood; as I’m sure everyone will appreciate. Cheers to the men in blue!
Upgrade to Wireless Alarm Systems
Alarm systems can come in many different forms and have many different upgrade options. The best advice I can offer: : GO WIRELESS! Most basic alarm systems will often use landlines to communicate the signal in case of break in. This is usually the first choice for consumers looking to save money. However, the first thing a burglar will do if they assume the home is being monitored is cut the phone line; disabling anything connected. To keep your alarm running, install a cell module that wirelessly communicates the alarm system to your local police station through a dedicated cellular connection.
Get Outdoor Security Lighting
Outdoor lights are perfect for keeping your home secure when you are away. You can leave them on to light the entrance to your home while away. In fact, contrary to popular belief, most robbers do not like to be seen while trying to break into a home. You can also use home automation timers that will switch the lights on at night and off in the morning. This gives the impression that there is someone at home, making your home less vulnerable as a target of robbery. Consider installing the outdoor lights with a night vision camera. Note that with the lights on at night, potential robbers will think that you are home when actually you are enjoying the sandy beaches and sunny days in Bermuda. Hey, we can dream, can’t we?
Beware of Dog
Dogs can also be used to scare away robbers who might be thinking of breaking into your home while you are away. Keep in mind a toy poodle will most likely not do the job. There are guard dogs specifically trained for this job. Whereas pet dogs are trained to be obedient, guard dogs are trained to sniff and attack. Burglars do not like attention, dog barks will deter them from your home.
A Couple More Home Security Tips
- Role play! Walk around the outside of your home and play the role of a burglar to help find the security loopholes in your home and fix them up!
- Do not leave notes at the door for family members or people coming to your house to provide services. Robbers can easily use such information to their advantage. If you notice any suspicious lurking cars or strangers in the neighborhood, talk about it with your neighbors.
- Trim any bushes around the home as they can act as hiding places for robbers.
You deserve some time away on vacation after months of hard work. Why worry about home security when there are several options of keeping your home safe? With the right security precautions in place, you can enjoy your holiday and sleep soundly knowing that you will get back home to find everything is intact just as you left them.